Co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 and Human Metapneumovirus

R I Med J (2013). 2020 Mar 19;103(2):75-76.


The novel coronavirus (now called SARS-CoV-2) initially discovered in Wuhan, China, has now become a global pandemic. We describe a patient presenting to an Emergency Department in Rhode Island on March 12, 2020 with cough and shortness of breath after a trip to Jamaica. The patient underwent nasopharyngeal swab for a respiratory pathogen panel as well as SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR. When the respiratory pathogen panel was positive for human metapneumovirus, the patient was treated and discharged. SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR came back positive 24 hours later. Although respiratory viral co-infection is thought to be relatively uncommon in adults, this case reflects that SARS-CoV-2 testing algorithms that exclude patients who test positive for routine viral pathogens may miss SARS-CoV-2 co-infected patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; co-infection; human metapneumovirus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Coinfection
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Cough / etiology*
  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Metapneumovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharynx / virology*
  • Pandemics
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / complications
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / diagnosis*
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / drug therapy
  • Patient Isolation
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Travel
  • Treatment Outcome